BT aims to make HR central to strategy

first_imgBT is aiming to consolidate its business as it enters 2003 following aperiod of market volatility, board and executive changes and shareholderpressures, according to the company’s new group HR director, Alex Wilson. Wilson, who joined BT last July from ICI, sees part of his mission as”lifting the vision of his HR team” to enable them to play a fullpart in this consolidation process. In an exclusive interview with Personnel Today, he described the existing BTHR team as high-performing, professional and skilled. Wilson said he intends to work with his senior team over the next fewmonths, however, to develop ways of increasing HR’s strategic sense. This willinclude organisational analyses and subsequently leading change to improveeffectiveness across the company. “We just need to stretch our horizons, see what we can aspire to, andgo for it,” he said. “For a true competitive advantage, we have got to get skilled enough tounderstand the emerging market, what the strategy is, and create theseorganisational interventions.” His concept of HR is three-tiered, with ‘value for money’ at its most basiclevel, ‘added value’ in the middle and and most critical level ‘value creation’at its peak. He said HR must move beyond the comfort zone of focusing solely on its mostbasic services, if it is to tackle the top-level tier. One hundred days into his job at BT, Wilson conceded that his organisationwas still operating “more in the comfort zone than I would like”. He told delegates at the IoD HR Directors’ Forum that as a profession:”We’ve got to have the confidence to fill this space. “Stop asking for permission to play, stop acting like victims, and stopusing phrases such as ‘I am a partner to’, ‘I am in support of’, and ‘I am anadviser to’.” By DeeDee DokeConsult Oracle for advice on people powerOracle vice-president, Europe, VanceKearney, told IoD delegates how businesses can find competitive advantagethrough their people as the economic climate gets increasingly chilly. Here arehis top 12 tips:– Get a reputation as the bestemployer in your field– Hire only the absolute best talent – if in doubt, don’t hire– Provide demanding work and set unreasonable goals and expectations.(“I mean ‘ambitious’ goals. Make them wince,” Kearney clarifies)– Provide your workforce with the best training and drive rapid internalcareer progression– Pay top rates and employ fewer people– Regularly review and replace low performance and outdated skills.(“It’s one of the most regularly refreshing things you can do,” saysKearney. “You have to encourage some change in the organisation, and thenmorale improves.”)– Fire the manager who can’t attract, keep or motivate their staff– Drive reward linked to hard growth and profit, not soft objectives– Keep your HR function to a minimum. (“Make your managersmanage,” says Kearney) – Let managers learn from their errors. (“Let’s get great managers – todo that, let them make mistakes,” he says)– HR must lead by example by adopting modern HR technology, standardisingbusiness practices, spending no more than 0.25 per cent of revenue or 1 percent of profit on HR– Business must be realistic about HR costs and ratios – 1:100 for smallenterprises of less than 500 employees; 1:300 for medium ones of less than10,000 and 1:500 for large enterprises of more than 10,000 Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article BT aims to make HR central to strategyOn 7 Jan 2003 in Personnel Todaylast_img

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